How to Replace the Ignition Key Cylinder

When you replace an ignition key cylinder, you will need a few special tools, which are listed below:

  • Steering wheel locking hub spring compressor
  • Small pocket common screwdriver
  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and a 3" extension
  • Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets
  • Set of torx bit screwdrivers
  • Phillips screwdriver


Insert the key cylinder into the column after lining up the upper protruding ledge with the column receptacle.  Install the securing screw on the inside of the column above the cylinder and tighten with the Phillips screwdriver. Install the small flat spring under the key reminder piece with the two arms. Carefully slide it in the slot above the key cylinder and push it in until it is flush with the housing.

Grab the harness for the turn signal switch under the dash at the column and pull gently while installing the switch with the other hand. Line the three holes up, install the screws and tighten. Install the emergency flasher button on the side of the flasher. Do not forget the small spring.

Install the turn signal switch by laying the inside attachment point in the rectangular groove on the switch, line the hole up and install the screw and tighten. Install the large spring over the steering shaft followed by the horn hub with the raised portion on the left side at the 10 o'clock position.

Install the locking hub over the steering shaft with the hole for the raised horn button over the horn hub. The locking hub will go on only one way so line its inside splines up with the steering shaft splines and slide it down. Install the circular snap ring over the steering shaft and push it down by hand as far as it will go.

Attach the hub compressor tool by threading the center shaft onto the steering shaft threads. Now use a wrench to tighten down on the center nut, which forces the hub down the steering shaft. Once the hub is far enough down where the grooves for the snap ring can be seen, use the screwdriver to push the snap ring into its groove. Remove the compression tool.

Install the steering wheel by lining up the hole to the left center for the horn hub extension and push it down. Install the large nut on the end of the steering shaft and tighten.

Carefully lift the air bag and hold it close to the steering wheel. Attach the horn wire with the tube on the end by pushing it into the hole in the steering wheel and while holding a small amount of pressure, turn it clockwise to lock it in place. Attach the negative or ground wire to the steering wheel. Connect the air bag wires to the clock-spring wire sticking through the steering wheel. Lay the air bag on the center of the steering wheel, install the two bolts from the back and tighten with the torx. Re-connect the negative battery terminal.

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